New Centre for Regional and Rural Development in western Victoria

RMIT University’s Centre for Regional and Rural Development (CRRD) has recently been established in Hamilton, western Victoria. A substantial initial donation from locals Helen and Geoff Handbury, who wanted to see a university set up in Hamilton, led to RMIT winning a grant of $3.125 million from the Victorian Government’s Regional Infrastructure Development Fund to establish the University presence, including the CRRD.

Located in a former Veterinary Research Institute, RMIT Hamilton offers courses in nursing, textiles and design, education and business. The CRRD is undertaking a range of research projects relating to regional and rural development, covering economic, social and environmental issues. It also offers graduate programs in Local Government and sustainable development.

Commencing in February this year, the Centre offers two, online 12 week graduate management courses for managers in Local and Regional Government – Innovative Local Government and Sustainable Regional Development.

“Through distance education, we use action learning for practical, hands on, workplace based projects,” said Associate Professor John Martin, Director of the Centre.“This could be enhancing innovation in your Council, or a project to promote sustainable practices – all of which can translate into a direct benefit of improving practices within Council or your local community.”

Through the Internet and video streaming lectures and discussions, the Centre links academics and practitioners from around the country.

“Local Government managers can also opt to include one or both of the Centre’s units as electives in their graduate degree from other universities, or enrol in RMIT’s distance Masters in Social Science (Environment and Planning),” John Martin said.

The Centre collaborates with a network of universities offering Local Government studies including the following.

  • Australian Centre for Regional and Local Government Studies – University of Canberra
  • Centre for Local Government Studies – University of Technology Sydney
  • School of Business – Queensland University of Technology
  • Graduate School of Business – Curtin University

For further information on the Centre for Regional and Rural Development, contact John Martin on (03) 5572 0530 or email